‘Almost one-third’ of drivers admit to driving unaccompanied as learner

Those who had driven unaccompanied were primarily in the 35-54 age bracket

The Clancy Amendment allows for gardaí to seize the the vehicle of an unaccompanied driver. Photograph: iStock

The Clancy Amendment allows for gardaí to seize the the vehicle of an unaccompanied driver. Photograph: iStock

 

Nearly one-third of drivers have admitted to driving unaccompanied as a learner, according to a new poll.

Over half of those interviewed know a learner driver who drives or has driven unaccompanied.

The research, conducted by Red C Research for Allianz last July, involved 1,001 adults and included learner and experienced drivers.

The Clancy Amendment, which came into force in December 2018, allows for gardaí to seize the the vehicle of an unaccompanied driver.

Almost one -third (32 per cent) of those polled admitted to driving unaccompanied as a learner, 34 per cent of which admitting to driving unaccompanied regularly and 26 per cent admitting to driving unaccompanied all the time.

Forty-four per cent of those who have driven unaccompanied also knew someone else who has driven unaccompanied.

Those who had driven unaccompanied were primarily in the 35-54 age bracket, from Munster, working full time and from a more affluent social class.

Both those who have driven unaccompanied and those who knew someone who has driven unaccompanied were more likely to be in favour of relaxation of the restrictions in place for learner drivers.

Those aged 55 years and over and those with a full driving licence were more likely to be against any relaxation of the restrictions placed on learner drivers.

People from rural areas, as well as Connacht and Ulster residents, tended to oppose any relaxation of the current rules.

Those from rural Ireland were also more likely to agree that learner drivers should be accompanied in general or in urban areas.

Sean McGreath, chief executive of Allianz Ireland, said despite tougher legislation “it is concerning that we are seeing learner drivers willing to drive alone”.